The group notes that profitability was positively impacted by a change in sales mix as increased home consumption drove higher-margin grocery and fresh categories.
SPAR Southern Africa, which includes South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique, contributed growth in wholesale turnover of 5.8% to R78.6 billion. The core food business increased sales by 9.2%, supported by strong demand for groceries. During this period, internally measured wholesale food inflation has risen to 3.9%.
The BWG Group in Ireland delivered a remarkable result, with sales growth across all retail brands more than compensating for the Cash & Carry and BWG Foodservice businesses, which have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions on the hospitality industry. The EUROSPAR format, which offers convenience and a comprehensive range of groceries, has been the outlier performer with sales growth of 11.5% in local currency.
SPAR Switzerland has performed exceptionally well with turnover increasing by 11.6% in local currency terms. This business has seized the opportunity of changing consumer behaviour, largely influenced by the closure of Swiss borders during the initial lockdown, with locals shopping closer to home and opting for trusted community-based stores over large supermarkets.
Business in the Polish market has been most vulnerable to the impact of lockdown restrictions. Despite COVID-19 related setbacks, good progress has been made, and this region contributed R2.1 billion towards group turnover for the period. The store network stands at 219 stores, including 25 existing Piotr i Pawel stores still to be converted to SPAR stores.
Keeping it local
More consumers are opting for their local, convenient and trusted community retailer, during this time. This is perfectly aligned with the group’s vision of being the first-choice brand in the communities we serve. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group continues to prove its resilience.
SPAR’s extensive distribution and logistics capability, market-leading brands and overall support of independent retailers, ensure that SPAR remains suitably positioned to deliver exceptional value to consumers.